The internet is overflowing with straight-up garbage advice for fixing acne, like putting toothpaste on your zits or rubbing lemon juice on your face. But we’re only interested in stuff that’s clinically shown to help your skin—and niacinamide (AKA vitamin B3 or nicotinamide) is on the top of that list.
Niacinamide is an antioxidant and water-soluble vitamin that you apply directly to your skin. It’s best known for its hydration and anti-inflammatory properties, but it also prevents excess sebum production, making it an ideal part of any guy’s acne treatment arsenal, no matter your skin type.
In this article, we’ll show you six ways topical niacinamide helps acne, how to incorporate it into your skincare routine, and when you can expect results.
1. Reduces Skin Inflammation
Acne makes your skin flare up like an inferno. You can combat that effect with niacinamide, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the redness and blotchy spots that you get from acne.
No wonder dermatologists recommend niacinamide for acne-prone skin.
2. Regulates Oil Production
Super oily skin leads to clogged pores—one of the most common causes of whiteheads and blackheads. Niacinamide gets to the root cause of that issue by regulating the amount of oil your sebaceous glands churn out. By balancing the sebum levels on your skin, your skin stays moisturized without turning you into an acne-prone greaseball.
3. Tightens Skin Pores
By supporting skin elasticity and reducing inflammation, niacinamide can naturally shrink the pores of your skin. Big pores have a higher chance of getting clogged with sebum, dirt, and bacteria, which creates the perfect storm for pimples.
4. Reduces Hyperpigmentation
Acne is notorious for causing hyperpigmentation, which is a fancy word for the dark spots where pimples used to be. You can blame those blemishes on an overproduction of melanin.
Niacinamide can fade those dark spots, giving you a more even skin tone. This clinical study concluded that a niacinamide moisturizer significantly decreased hyperpigmentation after four weeks of use.
5. Strengthens Your Skin Barrier
A strong ceramide barrier (AKA lipid barrier) is your first line of defense against acne. Niacinamide helps your skin renew and maintain that layer of your skin, helping you retain moisture. That effect is helpful for everyone, but it’s especially clutch for guys with acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, or eczema.
6. Compatible with Other Skincare Ingredients
Niacinamide plays well with other skincare ingredients. It’s like that guy in your friend group that somehow gets along with everybody you meet, no matter where they’re from.
No matter what type of facial cleanser or topical treatments you use, you can easily add niacinamide into the mix without worrying about it jacking up the effects.
How Long Does Niacinamide Take to Clear Acne?
Niacinamide can immediately improve the appearance of acne for some people. But most research suggests that it takes anywhere between 4-12 weeks to get the full skin benefits of niacinamide, assuming you apply it daily.
Keep in mind that every dude responds differently to niacinamide. The severity of your acne, genetics, and lifestyle factors like diet all factor into the equation. Niacinamide isn’t a miracle supplement, but it’s pretty damn effective if you stick to it.
How to Use Niacinamide for Acne
The internet is flooded with niacinamide serums, sprays, powders, and pills. But the easiest, most effective, and most-researched way to use niacinamide for acne is to use a gel-based moisturizer that contains 2-5% niacinamide.
All you have to do is apply it once in the morning and again before bed after washing your face. This ensures niacinamide gets absorbed directly into your skin cells it can work its magic all day and night.
Pro tip: DO NOT use any niacinamide products labeled “cream,” especially if you’re trying to combat acne. These are loaded with heavy oils that clog your pores and make your acne worse. Instead, opt for a lightweight, gel-based moisturizer like Revival.
On top of niacinamide, Revival has hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and strengthen your skin—all of which are essential for fighting and preventing acne breakouts.
All The Skincare Ingredients You Need, All In One Product
Big brands have made a fortune by convincing guys they need a shelf full of skincare products to get results—eye sticks, toners, gels, the list goes on. Dudes deserve better, which is why we made Revival: Our 6-in-1 moisturizer that targets acne, dry skin, dark circles, razor burn, and wrinkles.
That’ll save you room on your countertop, but more importantly it’ll save you a solid chunk of moolah. Don’t take our word for it, though. GQ and Forbes both ranked Revival as one of the best moisturizers for men.
Snag a bottle and see why 93% of guys prefer Revival over their old moisturizer.